The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

April 3, 2013

Engineering program for girls shows a rewarding career path

OTTUMWA — There are some great engineering jobs out there. Unfortunately, there aren’t enough engineers to work those jobs.

John Deere Ottumwa Works and some of their staff spent Tuesday morning introducing the next generation of potential employees to some possibilities.

Around 50 students, all girls from Evans Middle School, spent four hours with engineers, building and testing various gadgets.

“Introduce a girl to engineering” will hopefully get some of the students thinking. Amber Pargmann, an Engineering Team leader for Deere, said not only is there a problem finding enough engineers, her fellow female engineers make up only 8 percent of the workforce in that field.

These young ladies seemed to grasp concepts quickly.

“To make something work, sometimes you have to think outside the box,” said Lucy Kjer, an Evans eighth-grader asked what she learned at the event.

For example, Pargmann gave the girls a challenge. Take a single Pringles potato chip and build something to protect it.

The girls came up with some pretty good ideas, the engineer said. But she didn’t tell them what tests would be conducted, which is why Lucy said next time, the students would have to do more planning. And once the exercise was done, Lucy thought about the problem a bit differently. Rather than thinking of ways to protect a chip, she said she’d consider all the possible ways to break a chip.

So when Pargmann dropped the protected chips, most did pretty well, including one that floated gently to the ground. More chips suffered when she placed a heavy book on each of them. Then she caught nearly all of her young engineers off guard.

“They thought about dropping them, maybe throwing them against a wall. I don’t think they were expecting [us] to put the chips underwater,” Pargmann said.

“I’m planning to go to college for acting, but this is my Plan B,” said Zoe Klodt, an Evans eighth-grader. “Engineering is really interesting.”

She said she admires her older sister, who is in college studying chemical engineering. Many forms of engineering can be used to help people, Zoe believes.

“She’s going to be a pharmacist. And here people design [equipment] that helps farmers,” she said. “It’d be neat to have a similar job to hers.”

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 0730 OTT Better Buildings -T -M Wildwood could be your home OTTUMWA — There was always one child per class who just adored school. If they went to Wildwood, they may soon be able to move in permanently. The Ottumwa board of education met Monday, where staff told them where the district stood as far as "facili

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • A changing roster -- for school board OTTUMWA — If the last time you saw your board of education was before Christmastime, the current school board might surprise you. Two members retired from the board: longtime educator Ron Oswalt stepped down, as did board president Carol Mitchell. Bo

    July 29, 2014

  • Lottery sales top $3 million mark

    OTTUMWA — Mother Nature may have thrown Iowans a brutal winter, but it didn’t stop them from venturing out to buy lottery tickets. On Tuesday, the Iowa Lottery confirmed that it had topped the $3 million mark in sales for the third consecutive year.

    July 29, 2014

  • halo-5-guardians-concept_wallpaper-1920x1080-53cf9b0098ea45ada37dc0f66bc174f5.jpg The Art of Kong

    OTTUMWA — The Mona Lisa. Whistler's Mother. Donkey Kong? Don't be so surprised, said Walter Day, that video games and the surrounding memorabilia are being considered art. The creativity and artistic vision required to create a poster, said the found

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Slideshow: Truck overturns on roundabout

    July 28, 2014

  • 0729 OTT Picture veteran -T -M Veteran finally receives his medals OTTUMWA — A World War II injury may have saved the life of a U.S. Coast Guardsman from Iowa, but he lost friends and a box of military awards. Francis Hardy Harbour was born on Dec.16, 1919, in Drakesville. He joined the Coast Guard in 1941 as a mach

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Seasonal forecast Cool summer leading to cool fall? OTTUMWA — By late July, the average daytime high temperature starts to drop. What is normally the hottest part of the year is over. Averages are still in the mid-80s, and it certainly wouldn’t be out of the ordinary to see days in even the upper 90s.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • IHCC buildings.jpg Grant helps Hills keep students on track

    OTTUMWA — Thanks to a grant designed to improve graduation rates, Indian Hills Community College now has even more tools in its campuswide effort to help students with needs and give them the resources they need to stay in class. Indian Hills is one

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0728 OTT ribs in eldon BBQ dinner with a hundred friends

    ELDON --- This year's Eldon Rib Cook-off was won by three BBQ chefs --- and about 150 hungry visitors. "I was down here last year, too," said Dwayne Yates from Floris, who was biting into his third smoked rib. "I never had a bad one yet." That's what

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mediacom: Rural cable consumers and companies mistreated OTTUMWA --- You may want to add just a racing channel, a court channel or a nature channel to your cable line up. Unfortunately, you'll probably have to buy a "bundle," which, ironically, is what it will cost you here in Wapello County. That's accord

    July 26, 2014

Photo reprints


Obituaries

Facebook